New Delhi: India and France Monday pledged to explore new avenues for cooperation to strengthen exchange of information to prevent off-shore tax evasion.
"Recognising the shared commitment of India and France to cooperate in preventing off-shore tax evasion and the steps taken by both countries to strengthen exchange of information in recent years, the two leaders agreed to explore further avenues for joint co-operation, especially in capacity building and sharing of best practices, in line with G20 commitments," said the joint statement.
India-France joint statement was issued on the occasion of the state visit of French President Francois Hollande here.
India has been spearheading the campaign at international fora for automatic exchange of information with a view to check tax evasion.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Hollande expressed their commitment to carry forward the dialogue on the EU-India Broad Based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA).
Recently, the chief negotiators of India and EU took stock of the outstanding issues, including duty cut on automobiles and movement of professionals, that have held up talks on the proposed pact.
"France and India are committed to bring about a resumption of the negotiations as soon as possible," it said.
The statement also underlined the need for increasing bilateral economic engagement.
The two leaders welcomed the conclusion of a MoU on cooperation in urban development between Telangana and the Bordeaux Metropole.
The two leaders emphasised that more such initiatives should be taken to enhance the economic ties.
Recalling the commitments made in the Indo-French Joint Statement issued in April 2015 for closer economic engagement, the leaders noted with satisfaction, the involvement of French companies in several new and ongoing projects in India in keeping with the 'Make in India' initiative.
They highlighted the attractiveness of France for Indian investors, especially in terms of leveraging French technological expertise and competencies.
Reaffirming their commitment to facilitating a conducive environment for enhancing bilateral trade and investment, the two countries appreciated the convening of a dialogue on economic and financial issues at a higher level on cooperation in economy and finance.
"This framework will be the forum to discuss, on an annual basis, global and financial governance issues as well as bilateral economic and financial matters, to promote exchanges and cross investments between our two countries and address any hurdles between French and Indian businesses and industries," it said.
Further, both the sides called for increasing investments in preventive healthcare, research and exchange of technical knowledge in the field of food safety.